PROJECT TIME MANAGEMENT: Processes, Tools & Software for Effective Management

Project time management

One of the most difficult aspects of project management is managing time effectively. As a project manager, you have time on your plate. There are frequently competing objectives to deal with, not to mention the demands of your team and the expectations of your customers and stakeholders. It can all be a little (well, a lot) overwhelming. So we’ll go into detail about the process of time management in project management and you’ll discover tools and software that will help in your time management process.

What is Time Management in Project Management?

Time management is defined as the amount of time spent on a project and the amount of progress accomplished. It is one of the most important aspects of project management and the one that most project managers are concerned with. Time management enables you to schedule and monitors the completion of a project. simply put, it is developing and scheduling time for project completion.

Why is Time Management so critical in Projects?

Time management is an essential component of task management. It aids in breaking down projects, assigning tasks, and completing projects on time. Fortunately, with a little effort, you can use time management techniques that will not only make you more efficient but may also make your working life more fun.

These tactics can be classified into three broad categories:

  1. Project Time Management Process
  2. Putting time management best practices into action
  3. Utilizing the proper project time management tools

Of course, there is some overlap within these categories, so don’t think of them as stages that must be completed in a specific order. Instead, consider the needs of your team and the larger business, and then begin by applying the techniques that appear most likely to have an impact.

Project Time Management Process

The project time management process consists of six processes. Let’s see them in detail below.

#1. Making a project plan

Planning is a critical component of project management. It is your obligation as a project manager to develop a project plan. According to the Project Management Institute, a project plan is “the document that specifies how the project will be implemented, monitored and controlled, and closed.”

It specifies the objectives and scope of your project and serves as a formal point of reference for the project team, broader firm, and project stakeholders. Simply by making a solid strategy, you will save yourself and your team a significant amount of time and frustration as the project proceeds.

#2. Procedure for managing project schedules

This is the most important process in the project time management process. A project schedule is much more than a simple calendar. It specifies the project timetable as well as the organizational resources required to fulfill each task. Every member of the team must have access to the project schedule. Its objective is to transmit vital information to the team, thus it must be thorough and simple to grasp.

Several phases in developing a project schedule are directly related to time management, and they are interdependent. The following are some time management approaches in a project that must be completed in the following order:

#3. Outline the project’s activities

This can be as basic as making a list of tasks that must be accomplished to complete your project. In the event of large projects, it may be beneficial to organize these tasks in the form of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), which is a chart that visualizes tasks and their sub-tasks.

#4. Determine dependencies

Once you’ve outlined all of the project activities, carefully consider each one to determine whether tasks rely on others to be done. If you’re building a house, for example, you can’t put the roof on until the frame is finished. It is critical to precisely specify all of your job dependencies so that you can schedule accurately and avoid delays.

#5. Arrange activities in a logical sequence

You can sequence your operations once you’ve specified their dependencies. At this point, you haven’t assigned any time to your activities in terms of work hours or due dates. Instead, you’re concentrating on the order in which all project activities should be completed to create the most efficient flow.

#6. Estimate durations and resources

The best way to estimate duration is to use data from similar previous jobs. If you don’t have any data to work with and there are no industry standards to which you may refer, make an educated guess based on the average of the best, worst, and most likely possibilities. Estimate the resources required for each project activity.

Remember that resource allocation has an impact on your schedule; if the same team member is in charge of many tasks, they cannot be done at the same time, which affects your schedule.

Implementing efficient time management techniques

You’re off to a good start if you plan ahead of time and employ the correct project management tools. It is now time to add some time management methods to your project management.

#1. Make task lists

Create task lists for yourself, separate from your project worklist (though that is vital), and urge your colleagues to do the same. It’s essential to develop a task list for a specific amount of time, even if it’s only a day.

#2. Set priorities

Ivy Lee was an American public relations expert, but the method that bears his name is about productivity. His five-step method for getting more done is extremely simple, but don’t dismiss it. For over a century, it has assisted people in crossing items off their to-do lists.

  1. Write down the six – and only six – most important things you need to do the next day at the end of your workday.
  2. Sort the tasks by importance.
  3. Give your full attention to the #1 task when you return to work the next morning. Work on that task until it is finished before moving on to task #2.
  4. Repeat for task #2 and so on down the list. If you are interrupted by a true emergency, return to your task as soon as possible.
  5. Make a list of six priorities for the following workday at the end of the day, carrying over any outstanding items.

#3. Avoid distractions.

As previously said, attention is critical for getting things done and managing your time effectively. Set aside time for focused work on your tasks. You can also schedule appointments on your calendar so your team knows you’re busy.

#4. Appoint delegates

If you never have enough time to complete your worklist, consider delegating responsibilities to other members of your team. Being an effective project manager does not imply doing all of the work yourself. It entails ensuring that the work is completed and completed well, regardless of who does it.

#5. Locate bottlenecks

If your team is constantly running behind schedule, review your workflow to see where the bottlenecks are. When particular team members are overburdened, this is a prevalent cause.

Using the Appropriate Project Time Management Tools and Software

Over the last few years, the world of digital project management has expanded dramatically, giving project managers of all levels a plethora of tools to help with project and time management.

Here are a few tools to assist you to manage your time in project management:

#1. Kanban systems

A kanban board is a type of visual project management that allows everyone on the team to see the project and its tasks at a glance. Each task is represented by a card that contains important information such as the person allocated to the task and the due date.

#2. Timekeeper

Every part of your project requires time, yet when you reach the end of a project, it might be difficult to identify who spent how much time on specific activities when looking at the project dashboard. If you have a comparable project coming up, you feel like you should know how much time to devote to each project task and phase, but if your team hasn’t previously been able to measure their time, it’s a bit of a guessing game.

A competent project time tracker aids inaccurate billing, astute team management, and meticulous planning.

#3. A tool for collaboration

Many teams squander time as a result of ineffective communication tools. Sometimes the tools are difficult to use; other times, there are several communication channels and people fail to check all of them. Checking all the channels (email, SMS, instant messages, voicemail…the list goes on and on!) can take up a lot of time. Simplifying your team’s communication channels is part of good time management.

You can utilize project time management software, which includes all of the features required to effectively manage your projects.

Best Project Time Management Software

#1. ProofHub

ProofHub’s most significant advantage is that it provides an “all-in-one” solution for project time management and communication. Apart from time tracking software, it also contains a variety of other essential features like proofing, white-labeling, tasks, Kanban Boards, Gantt Charts, reports, chat, and calendar to assist teams in doing more in less time.

#2. Toggl

Toggl is a simple time monitoring software that you can add to your existing tools to help you be more productive throughout the day. However, its capabilities are rather limited. Toggl may fall short of your and your team’s expectations, particularly if you require thorough project time tracking. The tool is frequently lauded for its ease of use.

#3. Hubstaff

Hubstaff is another popular time management tool that includes project time management. In the form of activity reports, the software tracks the time spent on work as well as the leisure time of your employees. It also offers a configurable calendar view that allows you to see time entries on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This is a fantastic feature for constantly analyzing your team’s performance and managing projects.

#4. ClickTime

ClickTime is a time tracking program for project budget management that provides real-time data on personnel hours, availability, and expenditures. It assists you in forecasting project requirements by tracking the amount of time the team spends on any project. However, the software has a learning curve, and reporting is difficult and inconsistent.

#5. Teamwork

With Teamwork, you may estimate how much time you think it will take to complete tasks and then track your actual time against that estimate. It allows you to track how long activities take so that you can plan work for your team.

If you’re always juggling deadlines and deliverables, you’d likely profit from project time management software.

Benefits Of Using Project Time Management

Effective time management has a favorable impact on everyone’s professional and personal lives. Project time management also has the following advantages:

Achieve Goal

Time management strategies aid in the completion of projects and have an impact on diverse personal and professional objectives. 

It Enhances Productivity 

Time management in projects boosts productivity and helps you focus on the most important things. It enables you to prioritize your activities.

It Reduces Stress

Project time management utilizes strategies and software that help to alleviate the stress that comes with meeting deadlines.

It Reduces Errors 

Concentrating on a single area of a project allows you to complete the work correctly and also avoid making mistakes in the long run.

It Leads To Expertise

A project timetable around the corner is handy and allows teams to see what they need to do and when they ought to do it. This leads to expertise and proficiency in all aspects of their job.

Greater Opportunities

Project time management assists teams or departments in being more effective in project management and completing projects on time and within budget. This build capacity to do more in the future.

It Cut Excesses

It helps to keep your spending under control by bringing down costs and it also assures stakeholders that their money is being spent wisely.

Conclusion

Time, like money, is both valuable and finite. People who use effective time management techniques;

  • Are more efficient
  • Have greater stamina
  • Feel less tense
  • Complete additional tasks.
  • They are pleased with themselves.

As a result, it’s a good idea to figure out what time management method works best for you. So there you have it. Best wishes!

Project Time Management FAQs

What are the 4 D's of effective time management?

The four Ds are: Do, Defer (Delay), Delegate, and Delete (Drop)

What is the first step in time management?

Activity tracking is the first step in goal setting and time management as it sets benchmarks for evaluating your progress.

What are some examples of time management tools

Calendars, notetaking software, time trackers, specific time management apps, and so on.

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